What is living with chronic illness actually like?
How is it in anyway similar to that of being a gladiator?
The simple answer to both questions is that it is very difficult and barely…but let me explain myself.
For those who may not know, a gladiator was a trained fighter from Ancient Rome. These men were often slaves and would fight in large arenas for the entertainment of others. They would fight other gladiators, wild animals, criminals, etc. Typically, these fights would be until the death.
I realize it could maybe be a little bit of a stretch, but living day in and day out with a chronic illness can feel in a lot of ways similar to that of a gladiator; in a more figurative sense. If you have a chronic illness it is not unlikely that you may feel trapped; I know more often than not I definitely do. But regardless of being trapped you still have to fight, every single day – because that is what our life is. And I will be the first to argue that even though we live a life of pain; it is still worth fighting for.
I’m going to be honest; it is really difficult and I fully recognize that it is unfair. You will have good days, and you will have bad days. You will have to rest more than those around you and you will almost constantly be in pain, and only those who share that trait will truly understand what that means. But the most importance piece is that you are not alone. I would say that in this moment that is my goal with this blog; to let others going through this know to not give up and to create a conversation around our lives and our illness. Not only to support one another, but to shine some light on the issues we face everyday, so those who love us and study to help has can have the information they need, too.
Referring to myself as a gladiator really helps me cope with my illness, as silly as that may sound. I refuse to call myself a victim, and unfortunately, with the nature of an illness that is chronic I can’t be a survivor. So I find a lot of comfort in the middle, which for me…is a gladiator. I hope that this will help even one person out there who may find themselves in a similar boat; and if this does resonate I would love to hear from you.
Stay connected with Haley via twitter @heyleebird
If you are a woman who is a gladiator to Endometriosis or a similar illness that would like to spread awareness through your story please e-mail Haley at email@example.com